This story of a Cuban-American refugee captures the immigrant experience.
Stalked: The Boy Who Said No, by Patti Sheehy, is filled with drama, intrigue, and passion as a Cuban refugee fights to make a life in the United States after escaping the Cuban military to reunite with the love of his life. Set in the 1970s, this tragic love story pulls at the heartstrings and asks difficult questions about fate.
Frank Mederos was born in Cuba and grew up during the time Fidel Castro was building his army. Frank served in Fidel’s military from the age of fifteen, even serving as of member of the elite special forces unit. He never dreamed that his life could be any different. But when Magda, the love of his life, and her family announce their plan to move to the United States to protect Magda’s brother from being drafted into Fidel’s army, they ask Frank to escape the military and come with them. The story begins after Frank’s escape and follows him through his life as a Cuban immigrant in America.
One of the most intriguing aspects of this novel is the vivid detail expressing the ups and downs of immigrant life in the United States in the 1970s, from the difficulties and importance of learning English to the tragedy and pain of loss.
Sheehy shows no fear of exposition; she takes her time to set up scenes, often diving deep into the psyche of the characters to give unadulterated understanding of the reasons behind their actions. It is intriguing that even the novel’s antagonists cannot easily be hated, as they are as complex and damaged as the protagonist.
While the story is well written and full of drama, the pacing is a bit slow throughout, with peaks present mostly in the beginning and the end. However, this pacing choice is understandable and realistic, given that the story is based on true-life events.
The cover of the novel is eye-catching and would be easily noticed at retail, whether on-shelf or online. But the title, intriguing as it is, does not fit the story, and gives a false idea of what the book is about.
Overall, Stalked: The Boy Who Said Nois an great novel and could be enjoyed by anyone looking for a historical read.
Jessica S. Council
Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the author will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.